Twinsburg -- Ever since a freak train accident took his legs Oct. 13, Mark Kalina faces adversity with grace and optimism.
But the 2008 Twinsburg High School graduate and former varsity soccer player still has a lengthy, and expensive, journey in front of him. As such, Mark, his mother Wendy Callahan, and other family members will host a fundraiser at Rush Hour in Solon (33587 Aurora Road) Dec. 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. The fundraiser will feature a clambake and a raffle, among other festivities.
According to Wendy, the accident occurred in Columbus, where Mark attends The Ohio State University, a senior majoring in engineering. Mark called 911 himself following the accident.
"He is an inspiration for all of us because he saved his own life by calling 911," Wendy said. "Now he exhibits thankfulness for every moment he's alive."
Mark then spent the next two and a half weeks at the OSU Wexner Medical Center, and is now home in Twinsburg rehabbing further.
"Through this entire ordeal he has remained positive and upbeat," Wendy said in an email to the Twinsburg Bulletin. "The outpouring of support from family, friends and perfect strangers has been tremendous."
Anyone interested in donating or sending a note of support can find information at the "Mark Kalina Jr. Rehab" Facebook page. As well, a philanthropy event was put on by Mark's fraternity (Pi Kappa Alpha) at OSU while he was still in the intensive care unit, and there was a more recent benefit last weekend at Mavis Winkles in Twinsburg, which was attended by hundreds, Wendy said.
Prosthetics for a young active person can cost $100,000 each, Wendy said, and her son needs two of them, on top of other rising medical costs.
The Solon Rush Hour is located in the Solon Square Shopping Center. Call 440-248-6500 for more information.